When attending an interview, you may get asked about the skills that you would like to improve on.
This is very much a trick question. They want to catch you admitting to your weaknesses. So, make sure that those weaknesses do not pertain to the job you are interviewing for. This is often asked in this way because it will catch you off guard and lead you to believe that they are considering the possibility of training you. A perfect company will. Most companies, however, will not.
So, here is how you should answer What Skills Would You Like To Improve?
And beat them at their own game.
- Example Answers
- Identifying That Arbitrary Skill Per Job Description
- Work On Your Self Confidence!
- Final Thoughts
Don’t say something that will reflect negatively on you
If you are interviewing for a position in software development, don’t imply that you need to improve on your software development skills.
Rather mention an arbitrary skill that will somehow benefit your position but is not a requirement, while also throwing in something that will flatter the person directly above you in the chain of command and show your eagerness to learn it.
“I would love to learn management skills so I may one day move up to a senior level and manage a team. I aim to sign up for a few online courses, but I would also like to shadow my supervisor and be given more responsibilities as time progresses.”
If you do want to learn more in your specific field, word it carefully:
“I have other minor things I would like to work on, but I also like continuously learning more about software development as the field is ever-changing and one can never know enough.”
This shows them that you do not plan on staying stagnant and complacent with your current level of expertise.
Identifying That Arbitrary Skill Per Job Description
Choosing the correct skill to mention is a make or break. They will definitely not be inspired by your hopes of learning interpretive dancing when you interview for a software development position.
There are an infinite amount of jobs, thus it is impossible to provide some options for every one, so you will have to use some common sense with this. However, here are some general directions you can go with.
Any Corporate Setting
Improving your sales, networking, and management skills is a plus.
Emergency Service Jobs
Can benefit from learning advanced driving skills, mentorship, and peer counseling/leading support groups.
These often benefit from web and graphic design, copywriting, and managing temp staff hired in for promotional campaigns.
Human Resources Departments For Franchises
Are set up nationwide will benefit from the knowledge of labor laws of all the states they are represented in. Psychometric testing, and software applications such as Pastel Payroll, or cloud-based programs that keep track of employees’ annual sick leave, paid time off, and the usage thereof.
You may not be expected to know all the products by heart on day one. But it’s important to learn about your products as quickly as possible. And be able to determine things about them by reading their labels. Whether or not they contain certain substances, if they are sustainably sourced, or if they are vegan. Most people in sales have no clue what the ingredients in their products mean.
Will benefit from an additional skill in a complimentary field; an electrician that can install plumbing and repair woodwork is a well-rounded handyman.
Benefit from qualifying to teach for levels above or below your grade margin. This will give the school flexibility to add you to the timetable where they need you, rather than just the grades you want to teach. If you add a subject to your skill repertoire, this also means that you are not limited to only teaching one class.
Work On Your Self Confidence!
Not everyone automatically has the self-esteem or confidence that others might do. So, why not try reading up on the Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem, or the Unstoppable Self Confidence, as well as The Self Confidence Workbook to help get you started.
Improve your interview skills with The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt, or my favorite Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, and the excellent, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life!
Lastly, we also recommend the Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, or perhaps The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt, and finally The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance, all available online in 2023.
At the end of the interview, they will ask you if you have any questions for them.
You should ask if the company values workers who upskill. Or if they incorporate workshops and training to help employees grow. This is not only to show them that you value career growth, but it is also a good indicator of whether or not you will end up bored in your new position quickly.
Good luck and all the best with Improving Your Skills!